Monday, 11 July 2011
Working Hard And Making Mistakes
Last week I wrote a post saying that I was back and that I would start blogging again regularly. Nearly a week has gone by and I don't know where the days have gone. It seems that I am working harder now that I am unemployed (well, retired on medical grounds) than I was when I had a full-time job and was studying for a degree at the same time.
Perhaps it is the fact that what I am doing now does not come intuitively as things did during my working days. I found a job that I loved and that I was determined to do to the best of my ability. There were rewards along the way: promotion, opportunities to help develop better working practices, and a lot of travelling the world to see my counterparts in other organisations in Australia, Canada and the United States of America.
I have never seen myself as being creative in the artistic sense of the word. I can knit, I can crochet, I can do embroidery and dress making, but in each of these things I was always following someone else's pattern. Now that I am designing things for other people to knit I am having to be creative in a way that I have never been before. Trying to create original items, deciding which stitch patterns to put together and what the finished article should be are alien to me and therefore not very easy.
And yet, I am being able to create these designs. In a few week time I should have enough patterns for the book and all that will remain is the knitting of the samples that will be used to produce the photographs to illustrate each of these designs. As regular readers of this blog will know, I invariably have more than one project on the go at any given time. Things have not changed. At the moment I have two different scarves on the go at the moment and both of them require me to spend some time sorting out mistakes that I have made through not looking at the pattern properly. In one instance it was because I couldn't be bothered to print a copy of the chart that I have made a mistake which is going to involve me in unpicking approximately 10 rows. Fortunately the other mistake is only a row back and should be easy to correct if I can find a spare half hour this evening.
Much of today has been spent sat at the computer working on the chart for one of the larger items that I have designed. I still have a little work to do on it but I am hoping that I can get it finished this evening and updated on the computer ready for me to turn it into pdf format for my sample knitter. I also have to write the instructions about how the charts need to be laid out and what size needles it is to be knitted on. It is very fine yarn made of 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk and 10% cashmere (the alpaca and cashmere make it very soft when knitted and the silk gives it sheen and strength) and is a beautiful emerald green in colour. Choosing the needle size is important because I want use needles that are large enough to give the finished shawl plenty of drape, but not so large that it makes the finished knitting too floppy. I just might knit a few test swatches to see which needle size I like best.
Unfortunately, I am also having a bit of a battle with depression again as well as the arthritis in my hip. And to top it all off I have got a frozen shoulder again which is making it difficult to move my right arm without causing a great deal of pain and is even affecting me when I am knitting and I have never considered that to be a particularly strenuous occupation in the past. Perhaps my body is telling me that I am not getting any younger and that I have to accept that things aren't going to work so well as they did 20 or 30 years ago. The depression is making it difficult for me to always focus on the things that I need to do and is perhaps why I am making mistakes in my knitting. However, I am spotting the mistakes and I know how to rectify them so all is not lost and I am nowhere near as ill as I was this time last year.
Having written a quick update, I must go and get myself something to eat before settling down to work again. Who says that life gets easier when you are retired?